Obama forces Christians to provide contraceptives

Evangelical and Catholic groups on Friday blasted the Obama administration over its decision not to expand religious exemption from the new health care law that will require them to provide insurance plans covering contraceptives, sterilization and some abortion-causing drugs.


Christian groups joined together in condemning “Obamacare” after the Health and Human Services announced its decision, which officials claimed was reached after reviewing more than 200,000 comments from interested parties and the public.

“Despite the fact that certain drugs and devices approved by the FDA can work after conception to destroy a newly developed baby, the Obama Administration mandate still forces all insurance plans to carry these drugs and devices even if employers are morally opposed,” Tom McClusky of Family Research Council Action said in a statement.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said religious groups would have one additional year to comply with the mandate (until August 2013 rather than August 2012). “I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services.”

But McClusky said the one-year delay “does nothing to change the anti-religious, anti-conscience, and anti-life contraceptive mandate, rather it only postpones its implementation until after the presidential election.”

The new rule also mandates that religious groups with a one-year reprieve in the meantime be “forced to tell their employees where to obtain contraceptives,” FRC Action pointed out. “This completely violates the conscience rights of many Americans. As we approach the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade tomorrow may all voters who respect life take note of the Obama Administration’s ardent policies against life and religious liberty and vote accordingly in November.”


The National Association of Evangelicals also said it was “deeply disappointed” by the White House decision that was announced Friday. Freedom of conscience is a “sacred gift from God, not a grant from the state,” said Galen Carey, vice president for Government Relations at NAE. “No government has the right to compel its citizens to violate their conscience. The HHS rules trample on our most cherished freedoms and set a dangerous precedent.”

The HHS policy includes a thin exemption for religious organizations that focus only on religious services to their own members.

“The exemption leaves the vast majority of religious employers who serve the entire community unprotected,” the NAE stated. “If this narrow definition of ‘religious employer’ is adopted in other areas of law, it may lead to further erosion of the conscience protections Americans have historically held.”

FRC Action also contended that the mandate, issued in August, violates the principles of the Church Amendment which protects conscience rights for those who object to contraceptives and other services on moral or religious grounds,. “Additionally, the U.S. government already funds domestic family planning at a level of $1.9 billion annually.”

Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan of New York also lambasted the Obama administration’s health care law. “Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience,” he said in a statement. “This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights.”

He encouraged his community to tell their elected leaders that “you want religious liberty and rights of conscience restored and that you want the administration’s contraceptive mandate rescinded.”

Religious groups are not likely to comply, the Washington-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has hinted.

Given the anger among religious groups, they might choose to pay fines rather than act against their conscience, some believe.


Obama to NASA: We don’t have liftoff


Seeks global-warming data on Earth rather than moon mission

Astronaut David Scott gives salute beside the U.S. flag July 30, 1971, on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission.

Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert, the premium online newsletter published by the current No. 1 best-selling author, WND staff writer and columnist. Red Alert subscriptions are $99 a year or $9.95 per month for credit card users. Annual subscribers will receive a free autographed copy of “The Late Great USA,” a book about the careful deceptions of a powerful elite who want to undermine our nation’s sovereignty.

The Obama administration plans to ax NASA plans to return astronauts to the moon, according to anticipated 2011 federal budget the White House aims to release to Congress in the first week of February, Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert reports.

Instead, the administration plans to reorient NASA to a much more terrestrial mission – monitoring earth climate changes in an effort to document global warming.

Forget about the moon

An article in the Orlando Sentinel reported the Obama administration 2011 budget would eliminate money for the constellation program that was supposed to return Americans to the moon by 2020.

Also cut by the Obama administration were two rockets key to the NASA plan to return to the moon – the Ares I rocket to replace the space shuttle to ferry humans to space stations orbiting the earth and the Ares V cargo rocket that was to launch the fuel and supplies to take humans back to the moon.

“There will be no lunar landers, no moon bases, no constellation program at all,” Robert Block and Mark Matthews of the Orlando Sentinel wrote. “In the meantime, the White House will direct NASA to concentrate on Earth-science projects – principally, researching and monitoring climate change.”

CIA to investigate global warming

WND has previously reported on the Obama administration’s determination to pursue an ideologically driven global-warming agenda, despite Climategate disclosures that the science underlying the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was fraudulently contrived.

Despite terrorist attacks against the United States recurring with the Fort Hood shooting and the December underwear bomber, President Obama has tasked the CIA with investigating global warming.

The CIA’s environmental surveillance, Measurements of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis, or MEDEA, operating out of the CIA’s National Reconnaissance Office, has now been tasked by the Obama administration to supply classified satellite intelligence to a group of government-chosen scientists to measure climate changes, including Arctic sea ice.

While Democrats in the Senate appear to be backing off Obama’s efforts to pass cap-and-trade legislation, the Obama administration has decided to reduce carbon emissions through bureaucratic measures, utilizing the existing Clean Air Act to have the Environmental Protection Agency declare carbon dioxide to be a harmful chemical and to implement stricter smog standards.

Obama science czar favors ‘geo-engineering’

Red Alert has previously reported that despite evidence the earth is cooling, White House science czar John Holdren favors geo-engineering the climate to save the planet.

In a videotaped interview with the Associated Press archived on YouTube, Holdren made clear that “we have to keep geo-engineering on the table because we might get desperate enough to want to use it.”

Red Alert warns readers that President Obama is an ideologue who can be expected to pursue a global-warming agenda to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions despite evidence that the science behind climate hysteria has been fabricated.

Red Alert’s author, whose books “The Obama Nation” and “Unfit for Command” have topped the New York Times best-sellers list, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972. For nearly 25 years, beginning in 1981, he worked with banks throughout the U.S. and around the world to develop financial services marketing companies to assist banks in establishing broker/dealers and insurance subsidiaries to provide financial planning products and services to their retail customers. In this career, Corsi developed three different third-party financial services marketing firms that reached gross sales levels of $1 billion in annuities and equal volume in mutual funds. In 1999, he began developing Internet-based financial marketing firms, also adapted to work in conjunction with banks.

In his 25-year financial services career, Corsi has been a noted financial services speaker and writer, publishing three books and numerous articles in professional financial services journals and magazines.

For financial guidance during difficult times, read Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert, the premium, online intelligence news source by the WND staff writer, columnist and author of the New York Times No. 1 best-seller, “The Obama Nation.

For full immediate access to Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert, subscribe now.

Subscribe to Jerome Corsi’s new weekly economic newsletter, Red Alert, for one year and, for a limited time get “The Late Great USA” free. (This offer applies only to annual subscriptions for $99.)

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White House to fly Red Chinese flag


People’s Republic marking anniversary at White House

By Bob Unruh

China Flag

The administration of President Barack Obama, whose official blogger while Obama was a candidate came under attack for hanging a Communist Party flag in his Harvard apartment, apparently has given permission to raise the emblem of Communist China over the south lawn of the White House.

The plan, reported by several Englishlanguage Chinese media outlets, has raised concern among those who are working to guard the United States from outside influences that could be threats.

According to the Global Times English-language edition, the national flag of the communist People’s Republic of China on Sept. 20 will be raised for the first time on the White House’s south lawn – a secured area seldom available for public events – in recognition of the Chinese anniversary.

“The ceremony has gotten official approval,” Xiao Shuigen, secretary of the Union of Chinese American Professional Organizations, told the Times.

“It was always my dream to raise a Chinese flag in the center of Washington, D.C.,” Chen Ronghua, chief of the U.S.-Fujian Association, told the newspaper. “This year, my motherland’s 60th birthday, is the perfect time for it.”

According to China Daily, Chinese associations in the United States applied to have a ceremony.

Such emblems were an issue during Obama’s presidential campaign, when a Houston Fox TV affiliate captured images of a volunteer in an Obama campaign office working in front of a flag featuring the image of Che Guevara, the South American revolutionary who became Fidel Castro‘s executioner after the communist takeover in Cuba.

At that time, the Obama campaign issued a statement calling the flag “inappropriate” and noting that the office where it was displayed was funded by “volunteers” and was not the official campaign headquarters.

However, it was Sam Graham-Felsen, a journalist-on-leave from The Nation, who joined Obama for America in 2007 and worked as the official blogger. He, according to a 2003 article in the Harvard Crimson, adorned one corner of his shared student apartment with “a Communist Party flag … bought on their trip to Russia the summer after sophomore year.”

The proposed event at the White House was condemned on the forums page on Fox News commentator Sean Hannity‘s website.

“People could understand if there was a Chinese visitor at the White House and the Red flag was placed on the stage behind the speakers, but to hoist the commie pinko flag in ‘honor’ of the founding of the People’s Republic of China is absurd,” the forum participant said. “This only goes to prove the Obama administration is out-of-touch with the American people.”

William Gheen, chief of Americans for Legal Immigration, the pre-eminent organization battling against illegal immigration, said it’s the message that is sent to the world that will be significant.

“Our concern is that sovereign wealth funds, like the Chinese, now control the executive branch more than the American people,” he said. “China is not our friend. China is our enemy. Our enemy is coming and raising their own flag in a type of proclamation.

“I expect the Chinese media will make a big thing of it,” he said, saying something like, “‘Look how strong and powerful China is, raising our flag on the White House.'”

He said it conveys the same message as if Old Glory would be raised on the property of the Kremlin.

Gheen said the issue becomes clear “why the new water stations at illegal alien crossings into the United States have instructions in English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.”

At the Red County blog, the author said, “Celebrating Americans of Chinese descent is one thing. Celebrating Communism is another. Now our president will hoist the Communist flag over the White House. How fitting and in sync with his political belief system.”

A spokesman for the American Legion told WND that if the proper protocols are followed, there should be no issue with the actual display of a Chinese flag, especially since diplomatic visits routinely include the display of foreign flags.

But those with obviously U.S. leanings on the Global Times forum page were outraged.

  • “Another public short coming and failure by the Obama administration.”
  • “It can now be official – leave the flag there.”
  • “So let me get this straight – the Chinese are going to celebrate the founding of their country on the south lawn of the White House! Did we celebrate the 4th of July in Beijing in front of their Leader’s House? What other proof do you need that Obama is the Manchurian Candidate.”
  • “Oh Crap, Have the Chinese foreclosed on us already?
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Obama spies monitoring Jews house-to-house


‘They try to mingle with us to get more information on what we’re doing’

By Aaron Klein

President Obama

JERUSALEM – The Obama administration has set up an apparatus to closely monitor Jewish construction in Jerusalem and the strategic West Bank to the point of watching Israeli moves house-to-house in certain key neighborhoods, WND has learned.

Obama has called for a complete halt to what he refers to as settlement activity, meaning Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem or the West Bank. Obama’s edict extends to natural growth, or accommodating for the housing needs of existing local settler population centers. The demand is an apparent abrogation of a deal Israel struck with the Bush administration to allow natural growth.

For the past few months, Obama’s Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, has protested to the highest levels of the Israeli government about evidence found of any Jewish housing expansion in those areas, informed Israeli officials said.

The officials, who spoke on condition that their names be withheld, said that last March Mitchell oversaw the establishment of an enhanced apparatus based in the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem that closely monitors the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods, incorporating regular tours of the areas, at times on a daily basis.

Previously, under the Bush administration, the consulate kept a general eye on Jewish Jerusalem and West Bank construction, receiving much of its information from nongovernmental organizations.

“Mitchell’s apparatus takes things to a whole new level. They are watching very closely,” said an Israeli official.

Jewish leaders in the West Bank said the consulate takes no pains to hide their activities.

“They come out. They tour our communities. They try to interact with our leadership,” David Ha’ivri, spokesmen for the Shomron Regional Council in the West Bank, told WND.

“They drive around the towns, check up on what’s going on. They try to mingle with us to get more information on what we’re up to and what we’re doing,” he said.

Get your copy of “Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land Jihadists Reveal their Global Plans – to a Jew!”

Ha’ivri said the consular officials present themselves as advisers to the U.S. consul-general.

“But we know they are really spies for the Obama administration,” he said.

Jerusalem officials affirm the consular staff report to Obama’s envoy, Mitchell.

The U.S. the past few weeks has been publicly protesting Israeli actions in Jerusalem on the municipal level, making an international incident out of individual homes. Yesterday, for the second time the past few weeks, the Obama administration summoned Israel’s ambassador to Washington to protest Israel asserting its municipal rights in eastern sections of Jerusalem which the Palestinians claim as a future capital.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman summoned Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, with a message that the Obama administration views the eviction Sunday of two Palestinian families from homes in eastern Jerusalem as “provocative” and “unacceptable.”

In the case, Israel last week enforced its own property law in Jerusalem by evicting Arabs from a Jewish housing complex they purportedly had been illegally occupying for almost a century.

Oren reportedly responded today by explaining that the housing complex has been Jewish-owned since before Israel’s founding in 1948. Oren explained a court ordered the families’ eviction since they had been living there illegally.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week also denounced the evictions, calling them “deeply regrettable” during a joint press conference in Washington with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

Much of the U.S. and international media the past few days have been reporting on Israel’s eviction of Arab families from a house in eastern Jerusalem.

The housing complex is located in the Sheik Jarra neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem. The home was originally Jewish, but its Jewish occupants were chased out during countrywide anti-Jewish Arab riots in 1929. Arabs then squatted on the property, with one family, the Hejazi family, becoming the de facto occupants despite never having purchased the property.

Even though documentation shows the complex is owned by Jews and that Arabs have been squatting on it illegally for almost a century, Jewish groups say they still legally re-purchased the property from the Hejazi family.

Following pressure from the Palestinian Authority, however, the family later denied selling the complex back to the Jews despite documentation and other evidence showing the sale went through.

The PA in April warned Palestinians against selling their homes or properties to Jews, saying those who violate the order would be accused of “high treason” – a charge that carries the death penalty.

Israel’s court system twice ruled the property belongs to Jews.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office earlier this week released a statement to WND objecting to U.S. condemnation of the Israeli government for enforcing property law in Jerusalem.

“The eviction in Jerusalem was a result of a ruling by our Supreme Court that had to decide in a dispute between two parties over the legal control of a property,” Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark Regev, told WND.

Continued Regev: “The Supreme Court ruled for one side and not the other. In all democracies the rulings of the courts must be upheld, and it is incumbent on the executive branch to implement such decisions.”

Regev said the Israeli Supreme Court “is renowned internationally for both its independence and its professionalism. There are countless examples of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Palestinians in land disputes.”

Yesterday marked the second time the past three weeks Israel’s ambassador has been summoned by Washington to protest Israeli conduct in eastern Jerusalem. Last month, Oren was summoned by the State Department to demand a Jewish construction project in eastern Jerusalem be immediately halted.

The construction project, financed by Miami Beach philanthropist Irving Moskowitz, is located just yards from Israel’s national police headquarters and other government ministries. It is a few blocks from the country’s prestigious Hebrew University, underscoring the centrality of the Jewish real estate being condemned by the U.S.

Netanyahu strongly rejected the State Department demand, telling a cabinet meeting Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem was not a matter up for discussion.

“Imagine what would happen if someone were to suggest Jews could not live in or purchase [property] in certain neighborhoods in London, New York, Paris or Rome,” he said just after his ambassador was summoned.

“The international community would certainly raise protest. Likewise, we cannot accept such a ruling on eastern Jerusalem,” Netanyahu told ministers.

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Israel concerned over US “umbrella” on Iran

JERUSALEM – A series of failed tests of a joint U.S.-Israel anti-missile system raised new questions Thursday about the U.S. goal of providing an “umbrella” to defend its allies against an Iranian nuclear attack.

The technological setbacks also drew renewed attention to Israel’s concerns about a nuclear-armed Iran and the possibility that it might lean further in the direction of a go-it alone strike against the country’s atomic facilities.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s offer this week of a “defense umbrella” over its Gulf Arab allies to prevent Tehran from dominating the region “once they have a nuclear weapon” was widely seen in Israel as an acceptance of a nuclear-armed Iran. She later tried to dispel that view, but her comments sparked criticism by Israeli officials.

Israel considers Iran its most dangerous enemy because of its nuclear program, long-range missile development and repeated references by its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to Israel’s destruction. Iran has insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but Israel and the U.S. reject that.

Adding to the urgency was word Wednesday from the head of the Russian nuclear agency that Iran’s new atomic power plant will be switched on later this year.

For a decade, Israel has been presenting its “Arrow” anti-missile system, developed and jointly funded with the U.S., as an answer to medium-range Iranian missiles that might carry nuclear warheads. Tested repeatedly, the Arrow system has often succeeded in intercepting dummy incoming missiles, to great fanfare.

But just as Clinton worried Israelis by speaking of an umbrella over U.S. allies threatened by Iran, word came of three test failures in the Arrow system over the past week. The latest was in California, where a test was aborted before the Arrow missile could be launched because of a communications failure, according to Israeli defense officials speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose details of the tests.

Experts played down the importance of the failures. “Arrow has had a pretty successful test program,” said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org. “I wouldn’t be overly concerned about a problem like this.”

Uzi Rubin, former director of the Arrow project, agreed. “It’s really not a very serious glitch in the system that would require going back to the drawing board,” he said.

But the failures underlined the complexity of the whole anti-missile concept, which has been compared to throwing a rock in the air and trying to hit it with another rock. Israeli media personalities wondered if any system could protect Israel if multiple rockets were fired together.

If Clinton’s “umbrella” offer, made in a television interview in Thailand, was meant to reassure nervous Israelis, it had the opposite effect.

Dan Meridor, Israel’s minister of intelligence and atomic energy, was critical of Clinton’s implications.

He said it appeared “as if they have already come to terms with a nuclear Iran. I think that’s a mistake.” He told Army Radio, “I think that at this time it is correct not to deal with the assumption that Iran will obtain nuclear capability, but to prevent that from happening.”

Ever since President Barack Obama took office with a pledge to explore diplomatic contacts with Iran, Israeli officials have voiced concerns that talks would give Iran more time to develop nuclear weapons. Israelis have also suspected that the Obama administration was planning for a future Mideast that included a nuclear-armed Iran – something Israel would consider a threat to its existence.

Hours after Meridor spoke, Clinton clarified her remarks, saying she was “not suggesting any new policy” on Iran and continued to believe that “Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is unacceptable.”

U.S. officials have not defined what Clinton meant by her original “umbrella” comment.

Analysts offered two contrasting explanations: a threat of retaliation for any Iranian nuclear strike, or supplying U.S. allies with defense systems aimed at preventing such an attack.

The umbrella formulation did not appear to include Israel, though about 150 American soldiers have been training with Israeli soldiers in the southern Negev desert for several months on advanced radar installations that could be used in missile defense, according to Israeli officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the project.

Israel has pointedly not taken the option of a military strike off the table, recalling Israel’s lightning 1981 airstrike that destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor.

Experts doubt Israel has the capability of wiping out all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, which are said to be scattered around the country, some of them hidden. But hitting well chosen targets could set back Iran’s nuclear ambitions for years.

Political analyst Gerald Steinberg, a professor at Israel’s Bar Ilan University, said a perception that the U.S. was backing away from preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons “could add to Israeli decision makers’ concerns that the U.S. isn’t going to take action, and so Israel should.”

But Israel has not broadcast an urge to attack. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long urged concerted international action, including tougher sanctions, and hard-line Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said that Israel would not attack Iran just to do the work of others.

Lieberman is visiting South America, and the Foreign Ministry spokesman in Jerusalem refused to comment on the issue of the “umbrella.”

Associated Press writers Ian Deitch and Jen Thomas contributed to this report.

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Most sweeping ethics reform in history?



Obama promised during his campaign to “clean up both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue” with “the most sweeping ethics reform in history.” He repeatedly declared that “an Obama administration is going to have the toughest ethic laws of any administration in history.” But shouldn’t that moral commitment extend to all of those he appoints too?

First, there was New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who withdrew his name from consideration as commerce secretary because of a grand jury investigation into whether donations to his political committees were mingled with state contracts.

Second, there was William J. Lynn III, a lobbyist for a major military contractor slated to become the No. 2 at the Defense Department. (There are other Obama appointees who worked as lobbyists and are now located among his administration, like Mark Patterson, who represented Goldman Sachs and is now chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.)

Third, there was Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s appointment, which somehow squeezed through Congress despite his failing to pay more than $34,000 in self-employment taxes.

Fourth, there was former Treasury official Nancy Killefer, who withdrew her name as the government’s first chief performance officer because of not paying her taxes.

Fifth, there was Senate majority leader Thomas A. Daschle, who withdrew his name to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, but only after a barrage of confrontation over his failure to pay $146,000 in taxes.

Sixth, there was Rep. Hilda Solis, Obama’s nominee to be Labor secretary, whose husband this past week paid $6,400 in tax liens against his business – some outstanding for 16 years. (But she claims innocence and even press secretary Robert Gibbs said, “[W]e’re not going to penalize her for her husband’s business mistakes.” Is her husband’s business and money not also hers? Have you ever noticed how nothing is anyone’s fault anymore?)

And now, lucky No. 7, Obama has nominated David Ogden to be the deputy attorney general – the second person in command in the U.S. office of the attorney general. According to the American Family Association, as an attorney in private practice, Ogden has filed briefs opposing parental notification before a minor’s abortion and the Children’s Internet Protection Act and the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act. He has also litigated many obscenity and pornography cases on behalf of clients like the ACLU, Playboy, Penthouse and the largest distributor of hardcore pornographic movies.

With more than 90,000 names of registered sex offenders just turned over from MySpace alone, do we really want one more high-ranking politician who is soft on sexual crime and immoralities? I’d recommend Ogden and indeed everyone else watch the DVD, “Someone’s Daughter – A Journey to Freedom from Pornography” (distributed by Vision Video). (Ogden must still be confirmed by the Senate, so write your representatives today.)

Am I missing something? Remember when tax evasion was a crime? Remember when porn was bad? Remember when ethics actually mattered in our choices for politicians? Remember when there were expected moral standards for leaders? Remember when politicians were role models? (Now I’m dating myself!)

I’m doing my best to support my president. I don’t want him to fail. And I do want to give him a chance to get out of the gates without criticizing every step he makes. But when he repeats the same sizable mistakes in choosing unethical and even immoral leaders, does anyone close to him propose that maybe he’s going down the wrong road – that his criteria need to change? Have we grown so calloused of political indiscretions and corruption that we don’t care about any leader’s moral standings anymore? Do we really want controversial cabinet members running our country? Are we supposing they will help usher in the “most sweeping ethics reform in history”?

I know Obama told multiple network news stations in a dozen different ways, “I screwed up” and “nobody is perfect.” I have made my share of mistakes too, but I’m not the president, and I didn’t promise all Americans to make historic ethic reforms in Washington. I’m all for “mea culpas,” but what about my country? How many more leadership failings are we going to face? Should I or we keep silent until we reach 11 or 21 unethical appointees? We’re not even a month into Obama’s presidency!

The fact is that Obama has at his disposal more resources than any corporation on the planet to do a battery of background and psychological tests before even nominating anyone, but is he using them? Does he really have so few moral candidates from whom to choose that the only qualified ones are those who have straddled and gone over the ethical edge?

Call me Pollyanna-ish, but I believe leadership should be exemplary. I believe leadership should be above reproach. And if Obama can’t find an ethical criteria for choosing other politicians, then let me pass along some advice – from our Founding Fathers.

Ethics (the practice of morality) is the foundation of a healthy character, family and country. If ethics wane, so goes the people and eventually the nation. As Founding Father, Elias Boudinot once said: “If the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow.”

Good morals precede good laws, which is why government isn’t much help here. Unless the people and their legislators are grounded in morality, the best of laws will be broken and the worst of laws will be made, legalizing immorality. All the vetting in the world won’t vanquish a corrupt human nature. That is why we can’t look to government to improve decency, civility and morality. For that we need to look to another source.

John Adams put it well when he said, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Government isn’t the answer. And neither is education, at least without religion. As Benjamin Rush, also a signer of the Declaration of Independence, explained, “Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.”

Our founders had a better answer than government or even education. God is the answer. God is the moral compass of America. Or He should be, if we ever want to restore morality in our homes and civility to our land. Our founders believed morals flowed from one’s accountability to God, and that without God moral anarchy would result.

John Quincy Adams believed there were “three points of doctrine, the belief of which, forms the foundation of all morality.” He enumerated them: “The first is the existence of a God; the second is the immortality of the human soul; and the third is a future state of rewards and punishments. Suppose it possible for a man to disbelieve either of these articles of faith and that man will have no conscience, he will have no other law than that of the tiger or the shark; the laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.”

To the founders, religion was an essential buttress of free government. That is why Patrick Henry wrote, “The greatest pillars of all government and of social life: I mean virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible.”

Charles Carroll, who also signed the Declaration of Independence on behalf of Maryland, wrote, “Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion whose morality is so sublime and pure … are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.”

George Washington summarized it best in his Farewell Address: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. … Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Of course, illegalities, immoralities and other ethic violations have existed in every age, including our founders’, but they weren’t as readily accepted and tolerated as they are today. Most led good, moral and decent lives. And most fought to elect those would so the same, and so should we.

To encourage ethical living in youngsters, I recommend they read and practice what even 14-year-old George Washington wrote out in freehand by his own volition, “110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.” To everyone else, I recommend Jacob Abbott’s “Ethics: An Early American Handbook” – a reprint of an 1890 study on ethics. Humbly, Chapters 5 and 6 in my new book, “Black Belt Patriotism,” are also devoted to how to rebuild a civil and moral society according to our Founders. I lastly recommend Rushworth Kidder’s “Moral Courage” or, better yet, attend his seminar in Washington, D.C., on April 7, 2009. And stay attuned to ethical issues in politics by frequenting the website for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Mr. President, I’m doing my best as a patriot and a conservative to support you. But if your present choice of leaders is reflective of “the most sweeping ethics reform in history,” then I’d respectfully say, sir, you’re sweeping in the wrong direction.

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World’s Greatest Hacker Says Obama’s BlackBerry Can Be Breached


President Obama checks his BlackBerry as he walks along the West Wing Colonnade towards the Oval Office at the White House in Washington.

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